In water scarcity days,hawk eye on contaminants

The drought already casting its shadow in early summer giving an indication of things to come in the next few months,Pune district health authorities are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the water provided to villages is fit for drinking.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Published: March 6, 2013 1:44 am

The drought already casting its shadow in early summer giving an indication of things to come in the next few months,Pune district health authorities are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the water provided to villages is fit for drinking.

They are alert because of the discovery that 373 water samples had been found contaminated in December and 251 samples tested positive for contaminants in January.

Several measures have been taken to ensure that the 72 water tankers providing water to 34 villages,which are listed as high-risk as far as waterborne disease is concerned,and 336 small hamlets in Pune district deliver safe drinking water.

District health officer Dr ND Deshmukh told Pune Newsline that of the 72 tankers,28 are government-owned and the rest are private. They are sent to cover a population of 1.2 lakh in Ambegaon,Baramati,Indapur and Shirur.

The district health authorities had identified 32 wells as likely sources of water contamination and have issued immediate orders to disinfect them.

“We are focusing on drought-affected villages,” Dr Deshmukh told Newsline adding that water quality is constantly being monitored.

According to Dr V H Mohite,district epidemiologist,3,645 water samples were tested in December of which 373 were found contaminated and in January,251 of the 3,342 samples tested were found contaminated. “However there was no major disease outbreak. Weekly fever cases are dealt with aggressively,” Mohite said.

Chemical and bacterial analysis of water samples,apart from tests to ensure that the water fed into the tankers are free of contaminants are conducted routinely. Deshmukh explained that multi-purpose workers,one for a population of 5,000,pay fortnightly visits to the villages. As part of the integrated disease surveillance project (ICDS),a sophisticated system has been installed where an automatic analysis of fever cases from villages or contaminated water samples are reported on a weekly basis. “This acts as an early warning system,” he added.

Anil Kawade,CEO,Pune Zilla Parishad,said reverse osmosis units are also being set up to provide safe water in 7 villages in Daund and Shirur teshils. RO units will also be set up 58 villages. Moreover 250 water tanks have been set up.

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